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Good news for buyers as more homes go on the market

Good news for buyers as more homes go on the market

Estate agents have reported a 3.5% increase in houses available on the market in March. This is a small increase given the fact that the number of homes listed for sale is still 42% less than the five-year average, however it will give hope to the many buyers who have struggled to find a home to buy. Demand for homes in the UK remains “unseasonably high” according to Zoopla at 65% above the five-year average and interest in family homes was twice as high as is usual for this time of year. The strength of the market at the moment will shift slightly over the next few months as we begin to see the effects of the cost-of-living rise. Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, comments: “It has been a sellers’ market for so long that people expect their home to be snapped up by a ravenous pack of property-starved buyers, the second their property particulars are published. “But there are signs of a subtle shift that could eventually make it much more difficult to shift your home. “The Zoopla figures show that sellers are flocking to the market, with some keen to lock in property price rises while they still can. “Meanwhile, although demand remains higher than usual for the time of year, it has fallen since the start of 2022. So, the balance of supply and demand is changing.”

More homes available on the market will certainly help first time buyers who, over the last year, have so often been priced out of the market by being forced into fast-paced bidding wars. Richard Hayes, CEO of Mojo Mortgages says: “Another month of rising house prices is great news for current homeowners, and the rise in the number of listings across the country will be music to the ears of first-time buyers and those making their next steps on the ladder alike. “Many first-time buyers will be familiar with bidding wars pushing offers well above asking price due to the limited number of properties coming onto the market – with more listings first-time buyers could see their chances of finding their first home at market price improve.” However, Hayes recognises that increasing prices will still present challenges for new buyers. “Our recent research showed that first time buyers in cities such as Bath, Oxford and London would need to borrow more than seven times their salary to buy a typical house in each location,” he said. “This highlights the challenge for those looking to get on the property ladder in some of the most in-demand urban centres. “While some locations are much more affordable for first-time buyers, with those in Hull, Bradford and Gateshead needing to borrow less than three times the average salary, the wider cost of living crisis could make saving for a deposit more difficult.”

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